People's Republic of Kampuchea 1979–1989, Theby Margaret Slocomb
When the Khmer Rouge troops entered Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975, it seemed that the Cambodian revolution had been secured. During the following four years, Cambodian society was dramatically transformed at great cost in terms of human misery and death. Despite its outward display of total power, the regime of Democratic Kampuchea was deeply fragmented along factional lines within the Communist Party of Kampuchea which eventually ripped it apart. On the morning of 25 December 1978, a huge military force of the People's Army of Vietnam spearheaded a counter attack by the Kampuchean Front for National Salvation, led by a former KR commander, Heng Samrin. They found a country in ruins, the economy shattered and the people shocked and dispirited.
This book examines the Cambodian revolution before and after Pol Pot and attempts to explain the reasons for its ultimate failure. In particular, it traces the efforts of the post-DK regime, that of the People's Republic of Kampuchea, to rebuild both the state and the revolution. Many factors intervened to defeat their efforts to restore revolution. Nevertheless, the PRK did rebuild the state and the economy, and it helped return people's lives to the conditions of prerevolutionary days.
MARGARET SLOCOMB has a doctorate in history from the University of Queensland, Australia. She has lived and worked in Cambodia since 1988.